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A simple geometrical explanation is provided for the distribution of the well-known architectural zonation across fully developed magma-poor margins (e.g., limited crustal stretching, extreme crustal thinning, exhumed mantle, ultraslow or normal “Penrose” oceanic crust). This zonation is observed along the lengths of many margins on the super-regional scale. Diachronous development of the oceanic crust, younging towards the rift tip, indicates that at the plate tectonic scale break-up occurred on these margins by rift propagation. At the local to regional scale propagation occurs by progressive opening of segments. Because the relative motion of crust adjacent to a rift segment...

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